United is getting a lot of blame for the death of a small dog that a flight attendant insisted be put in an overhead compartment. According to several reports, the passengers could hear the dog from the compartment until it died. United is one of the worst airlines in the world, as far as I am concerned. It is just downright abusive to its passengers and animals seem to die more in the care of United than any other airline.
But the reality is that if a flight attendant told me to stuff my dog in an overhead compartment, I would demand off the flight. Perhaps the person involved did not understand the risks, but there were other passengers around who could hear the dog. If I was a passenger on a flight in that situation, even if it was not my dog, I'd have spoken up. It is an inappropriate location for a dog to be stored. My understanding is that the pet's owner was frazzled and with kids and didn't want to fight the fight. I've been there and done that. But my dog is like a family member and, even so, surely there was someone else on the plane willing to stand up for the frazzled parent and the dog. But there was not.
I pointed this out on social media and was amazed by the number of beta males who declared that we must all do what the flight attendant tells us, or else. I went back and looked and, ironically, many of these same people have tweets up praising kids for walking out of school yesterday to protest gun violence. They don't want the risk themselves or will cheer on what they think is right so long as they know the threat of punishment is low.
We truly are a nation of men without chests now. We let flight attendants lord over us while muttering under our breath that the customer is always right. We let dogs die in overhead compartments on planes. This is ridiculous. Actually, it is not "we" or even "me," it is some of you. Grow spines. It is not brave for liberals to walk out of public schools to protest guns. It is not brave for liberals to stand up to Donald Trump. But perhaps there is now a modicum of bravery and a whole hell of a lot of decency to stand up against cruelty to a dog on an airplane, as ridiculous as that might sound.
And yet not a passenger on that plane did.